Business culture varies from country to country. The UK’s business culture is known for its politeness, formality, and strong work ethics. The UK is the fifth-largest economy in the world and the second-largest in the EU. The vast scale of the UK’s economy offers various opportunities to businesses across the globe.
International business owners need to understand how the UK conducts business and the etiquettes involved. Here are few tips on how to handle UK business culture, negotiations, etiquette, and any topics to avoid.
In the UK, working hours are usually between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm. Some workers also work past these hours and take their work home with them. British business culture is all about rank, age, and authority. If you are working with a new team, try to gauge each member’s seniority and act respectfully.
Usually, a manager will present control and leadership skills with a firm and resolute tone. Foreign business owners need to understand the different class distinctions and how to distinguish between them. An individual’s seniority isn’t always apparent – try to read between the lines and consider how people act around them.
Introductions and departures should involve a handshake and assertive eye contact. Be polite and offer simple gestures, like holding doors open. Please pay attention to the person’s tone of voice when they are offering you feedback. In British business, someone may say “this is interesting” in a displeased manner. Their tone often indicates how they really feel about something.
The British are known for their sense of humor – and other cultures may find British jokes offensive or impolite. Bear in mind that British humor is often self-deprecating and full of irony. If you are going for a business dinner and drinks, you’re likely to experience the classic British sense of humor.
Always exchange business cards after meeting someone for the first time. Business cards are a brilliant way to network. A card will show someone’s job title, full name, and qualifications relevant to their current job.
Aim to show up on time for your business meetings. The UK business industry is hectic, and managers are often tight on time. Punctuality is valued in British culture and is considered both professional and polite. If you are going to be late for a meeting, make sure to let the team know in advance.
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